Can a passenger be charged with a crime if a vehicle they weretraveling in was found to contain a large amount of drugs although they knew nothing about them?

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Can a passenger be charged with a crime if a vehicle they weretraveling in was found to contain a large amount of drugs although they knew nothing about them?

Asked on December 9, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a passenger in a vehicle can be charged with a crime of possession of a controlled substance even though the passenger claims no knowledge of the contraband. Whether or not the prosecution will be able to prove the charge as to the passenger that you are writing about is the reason why cases go to trial.

The trier of fact (judge or jury), will determine if the prosecution has met its burden if proof if the case ends up going to trial. If you have been charged with possession of contraband, I suggest that you retain a criminal defense attorney to represent you.


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